In my last blog I covered free and low-cost gift ideas (which are not only good at Christmas, if someone sent me a card anytime of year saying they got vaccinated for my boys or gave blood in their honor, I would be thrilled). But what if you want to spend a little money?
Here are some ideas for Christmas (or any time) gifts for preemie families that really say, “I thought about what you might need.”
- A crock pot and recipe book. When the baby gets home (or babies) most parents are exhausted and healthy eating goes out the window. Eating healthy is important for moms who are breastfeeding, for both parents to keep them healthy, but also, eating disorders are far more common among preemies. A preemie baby needs to observe good eating patterns from birth, seeing parents eat on the fly, in the car, or not at all is kind of a mixed message for a baby with an oral aversion. A crock pot is about the easiest way to get a healthy meal together (don’t get one of those cook books where there is a lot of browning before hand, in my opinion that totally defeats the point). If you can’t find a book you like, print them out my Tex Mex Chicken and Beans crock pot recipe, which is truly delicious, cheap, and a 5 minute assembly.
- A gorgeous diaper bag with a water bottle and a journal (writing things down is very therapeutic, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time!). Most preemie moms are lugging around one of those free but nasty vinyl formula bags, because many have not had a baby shower and simply don’t have any baby swag yet.
- Books. Check out the products page for some that I recommend. Besides my book The Preemie Primer, there are many that parents might find useful given their specific situation. If you know someone who is struggling with colic or reflux, get them Colic Solved, written by a Dr. Vartabedian, a pediatric gastroenterologist. For someone struggling with a difficult diagnosis think about, A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs. The essays are truly inspirational (full disclosure, I wrote one of the essays, it is about Victor, who has CP, learning to hop on one foot. It will make you cry, but you will also feel very uplifted!).
- A Busy Breather Backpack for parents who have a baby on oxygen (check out the picture at the top). This is a such a great idea, the brain child of a mom with a preemie. Her son was on oxygen for two years, and she was so tired of lugging around an oxygen tank, a purse, and a diaper bag that she designed this bag (I can SO relate!). This is a combo oxygen tank carrier-purse-diaper bag. If you know someone with a baby on oxygen, get them this gift. I wished I had had two!